Navigation Links
Ukraine Struggles Against Fake Drug Trade

It's an international crime business that endangers human lives and generates billions of dollars every year through the sale of tablets and powders.

Unlike drug smuggling, however, medicine counterfeiting is still not considered a criminal offence under the legal systems of a number of east European countries including Ukraine.

"We tell the police.

They open investigations and then just drop them.

It's not a crime," said an exasperated Anna Pilipenko, an inspector at a laboratory in Kiev that is part of a state network for testing thousands of pharmaceuticals.

But as this country of 47 million people draws closer to the West, officials are gradually getting to grips with the problem, tabling new laws and introducing increased checks.

Ukraine is still lagging in healthcare, with a life expectancy of 68 that is 10 years below the average in the neighbouring European Union, according to EU and World Bank figures.

So far in 2007, Pilipenko's lab has found three percent of pharmaceuticals checked to be counterfeits.

Usually the products are not toxic but contain far less of their active ingredient than required.

Pilipenko pointed to a shelf used for teaching purposes that contained dozens of medicine packages in pairs -- a genuine version and a seemingly indistinguishable fake one.

Looking more closely, the differences appeared.

One cure against stomach pains turned out to be vanilla powder and several remedies against allergies and influenza carried the wrong markings.

These medicines can be seized from chemists and hospitals as they constitute a health risk for Ukrainians, but at the moment their producers and importers cannot be prosecuted.

In addition there are numerous medicines sold at discount prices through Internet sites that have sprung up in Ukraine, meaning that the proportion of counterfeits could be higher.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 20 percent of the market in ex-Soviet republics like Russia and Ukraine could be made up of fakes and warns that the trade is putting patients at risk.

"The counterfeit pharmaceutical problem is very strong in Ukraine," said John Anderson, head of the Britain-based Global Anti-Counterfeiting Network, who travels frequently to Ukraine.

"The pharmaceutical companies don't tell anyone.

They're desperate not to raise alarm over possible pharmaceutical fakes in case the market for their products drops like a stone," Anderson said.

Government checks, he added, are also "wildly open to corruption." But officials in this former Soviet republic have vowed to stamp out the fake medicine problem as part of a drive for Ukraine to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Health authorities have established a network of 27 laboratories for testing and legislation making medicine counterfeiting a criminal offence is expected to be adopted by parliament later this year.

The medicine inspection service for Ukraine has issued five product recalls so far this year because of health risks and in an interview with AFP deputy chief inspector Vladislav Onishchenko rejected charges of corruption.

Industry representatives have welcomed such initiatives but say that in eastern Europe as a whole not enough effort is being made to root out counterfeiting.

"It's often difficult to get an investigation going," said Ashley How of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, a US-based industry group that works with police and in-company investigators from major pharmaceutical firms.

Experts identify Russia, frequently ranked one of the world's biggest producers of counterfeit medicines, as among the main sources for the fakes in Ukraine and the EU.

As in Ukraine, Russian lawmakers are also discussing proposals to toughen penalties against medicine counterfeiting.

But the authorities have been criticised for poor enforcement of existing laws.

Last year, a company called Bryntsalov-A, which is owned by a member of Russia's parliament, was accused of counterfeiting and taken to court.

The company got off with a 1,500-dollar (1,100-euro) fine for improper storage.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Novel Strain Detected In The Recent Outbreak Of Bird Flu At Ukraine
2. Ukraine Faces First Bird Flu Attack
3. Malaysia Struggles to Control Hand, Foot-and-Mouth Disease In Sarawak
4. Indonesia Struggles Against Bird Flu and the Drug Industry as Well
5. AAI Pharma Files Lawsuit Against Dr. Reddys Laboratories
6. Diabetics Need to Guard Against Nail Fungus
7. New Weapon Against Germs
8. Estrogen Found To Protect the Colon Against Cancer
9. Diet Found To Offer Protection Against Leukemia
10. Olive Oil Found To Offer A Protective Effect Against Breast Cancer
11. WHO Issues Caution Against Bird Flu Epidemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and ... in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary ... of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are ... with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms ... can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: